The lamb, as a symbol of purity, is one of the symbols of St. Agnes. Every year on January 21st, the memorial of St. Agnes, the pope blesses two lambs that have been raised by Trappists of the Tre Fontane Monastery outside of Rome. After the lambs have been blessed they are taken to Benedictine nuns at the Monastery of St. Cecilia in Rome. Here the nuns care for them and use their wool to weave the palliums worn by the Pope and his Archbishops. The palliums are conferred on new archbishops (those appointed as archbishops during the preceding year) on the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul on June 29th.
"The palliums are about 3 inches wide and have a 14-inch strip hanging down the front and the back. The strips are finished with black silk, almost like the hooves of the sheep the archbishop is symbolically carrying over his shoulders." (CNS)
According to The Church's Year of Grace, "Our saint's name should be traced to the Greek hagne - the pure, rather than to the Latin agna - lamb. But the Latin derivation prevailed in the early Church. The reason may have been that eight days after her death Agnes appeared to her parents with a train of virgins, and a lamb at her side. St. Augustine knew both derivations. "Agnes", he writes, "means 'lamb' in Latin, but in Greek it denotes 'the pure one'." (Catholic Culture)
Because of St. Agnes's association with lamb, I made some quick and easy Marshmallow Lamb Cookies for the children to enjoy while coloring pictures and listening to a story about the life of St. Agnes in honor of her memorial. These Marshmallow Lamb Cookies would also be perfect to make during the Easter season!
Marshmallow Lamb Cookies
Adapted from Last Minute Mel
- Graham Crackers
- Mini Marshmallows
- 1 T Confectioners Sugar (and a drop of milk to make icing)
- Food Marker
Using a serrated knife and a gentle sawing motion, cut the graham crackers to a somewhat oval shape.
Spread a thin layer of the powdered sugar icing over the top of the graham cracker and cover with marshmallows.
Add the raisin for the ear and draw in an eye. Enjoy!